Privacy Policies Print E-mail

Your employer should have a privacy policy detailing their monitoring and information gathering. This document shows you how your employer collects, uses, discloses and manages information in the workplace.

Information protection

An employer doesn’t need consent to take information about an employee, but they do need to inform the employee what that information will be used for.

Your rights regarding data protection mean that:

  • you have the right to see records held on you;
  • your employer must keep accurate records;
  • you can claim compensation if your employer breaches the Data Protection Act;
  • you can request that a particular piece of information about you be destroyed (such as out of date medical information).

Cameras and recording devices

If your employer informs you that covert cameras and recording devices are being used, as well as the reasons behind using them, they are allowed to have them in the workplace and use them to monitor staff.

Screen-checking software

Screen-checking software allows managers to observe your computer screen remotely and is covered under health and safety law, which states that "no checking facility can be used without the consent of the operator".

If you think you are being too closely monitored in the workplace, contact your UNISON rep, who can advise you on your specific situation.

Seeing your records

You have a legal right to see any records held about you by your employer. Your employer must give you access to your records within 40 days of your request.

Pre-employment information gathering

Before you start a job, you may be asked for personal details and for references. Your employer may also check your criminal background in certain cases, for example if the job involves working with children. This is known as pre-employment vetting and is different from standard data collection because employers may be asking third parties for sensitive information about you.

In this case, you should be informed of what that information is to be used for, and employers should destroy the documents when they are no longer needed (within six months).

UNISON’s privacy policy

UNISON is committed to safeguarding the privacy of our members. Our privacy policy explains how we treat the personal information you give us. The policy reflects our duties under the Data Protection Act to use information fairly, keep it secure, make sure it is accurate and keep it up to date

  • Members have the right to privacy and protection of sensitive personal data.
  • You are usually required to supply a reference from a previous job to any job you are applying for.
  • Recruitment information about you must be destroyed within six months of collection.
  • You may ask for certain information about you to be destroyed.
  • Your employer should have a privacy policy available for you to see.

You may request that your employer destroy specific information and they must oblige unless they have a legal reason to keep it. This may include out of date information about you. If any documents are to be destroyed, you should make sure that your employer disposes of them appropriately (such as shredding).



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